Economy & Finance

GLOBALIZATION AND SCIENCE EDUCATION

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Processes of globalization have played a major role in economic and cultural change worldwide. More recently, there is a growing literature on rethinking science education research and development from the perspective of globalization. This paper
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  GLOBALIZATION AND SCIENCE EDUCATION J. LAWRENCE BENCZE OISE, University of Toronto, Canada  LYN CARTER Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia  MEI-HUNG CHIU National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan  REINDERS DUIT * IPN     Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel, Germany  duit@ipn.uni-kiel.de  SONYA MARTIN Seoul National University, South Korea  CHRISTINA SIRY University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg  JOSEPH KRAJCIK and NAMSOO SHIN University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA KYUNGHEE CHOI, HYUNJU LEE and SUNG-WON KIM Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea  Received 31 May 2012Revised 3 April 2013Accepted 4 April 2013Published 8 June 2013 Processes of globalization have played a major role in economic and cultural change worldwide.More recently, there is a growing literature on rethinking science education research and devel-opment from the perspective of globalization. This paper provides a critical overview of the stateand future development of science education research from the perspective of globalization. Twofacets are given major attention. First, the further development of science education as an inter-national research domain is critically analyzed. It seems that there is a predominance of researchersstemming from countries in which English is the native language or at least a major workinglanguage. Second, the signi¯cance of rethinking the currently dominant variants of scienceinstruction from the perspectives of economic and cultural globalization is given major attention. * Corresponding author: IPN/Olshausenstr. 62/D 24118 Kiel/Germany.COSMOS, Vol. 8, No. 2 (2013) 1  14 ©  World Scienti¯c Publishing CompanyDOI: 10.1142/S021960771250005X1    C   O   S   M   O   S   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   f  r  o  m  w  w  w .  w  o  r   l   d  s  c   i  e  n   t   i   f   i  c .  c  o  m   b  y   S   E   O   U   L   N   A   T   I   O   N   A   L   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   Y  o  n   0   6   /   1   7   /   1   3 .   F  o  r  p  e  r  s  o  n  a   l  u  s  e  o  n   l  y .  On the one hand, it is argued that processes concerning globalization of science education as aresearch domain need to take into account the richness of the di®erent cultures of science educationaround the world. At the same time, it is essential to develop ways of science instruction that makestudents aware of the various advantages, challenges and problems of international economic andcultural globalization. Keywords  : Globalization; science education research; science instruction. 1. Introductory Remarks (Mei-Hung Chiu and Reinders Duit) a As the world becomes more connected anddependent on shared natural and intellectualresources, it becomes essential for us to considerhow to create a high level of science literacy for allchildren throughout the globe. Globalization is awidely-used term describing processes of global (i.e.worldwide) distribution of ideas and goods, mostsigni¯cantly and in°uentially, regarding scienti¯c,technological and cultural products and develop-ments. Clearly, processes of economic and culturalglobalization may be successful only if backed upby processes of educational development, as edu-cation is critical for future societal and environ-mental well-being as well as economic progress. 13 Conceptions of science literacy (see Refs. 42 and 46, as well as the conception provided by Choi and hercolleagues below) point out that substantial fam-iliarity with science concepts, principles, featuresof the nature of science as well as awareness of socio-scienti¯c issues is needed to engage in furtherdevelopment of science and technologies and tocritically value the signi¯cance of science for natureand society. Motivating young people to engage inthe future development of science and technology isessential for further economic development and todevelop critical citizenship, which is crucial foravoiding the dangers often a±liated with techno-logical advances.Whereas processes of globalization (also in thedomain of education) are not new, the science edu-cation research literature on it is somewhat recentand sporadic. This holds for both facets addressed inthe present paper, namely (1) the further develop-mentofscienceeducationasaninternationalresearchdomain and (2) the signi¯cance of rethinking thecurrently dominant variants of science instructionwith regards to globalization.Concerning globalization of science educationresearch, there seem to be two major barriers con-straining fruitful international cooperation. First,there are signi¯cantly di®erent traditions con-ceptualizing science teaching and learning. Gough 23 argues that the \Western" tradition (which he alsocalls\Eurocentrism")shouldnotbesuperimposedonquite di®erent cultures. This argument, while com-mon, may be overstated. The di®erent traditionsaround the world should not be primarily seen asbarriers but as chances to see science education in anew light by appreciating the uniqueness of culturaldi®erences. 21 The richness of positions provides sci-ence educators with opportunities to clarify theirideas and come up with new ideas that can perhapsbetter promote the teaching and learning of science.Perhaps a more serious barrier for globalization of science education research is the predominance of English as the  lingua franca   for international scienceeducation. Charlton and Andras, 16 for instance,arguedthat,for  science  , somewhatrestricted Englishis su±cient for international communication. How-ever, for science education research, this is the caseonly to a limited extent. As there is no formallanguage (like mathematical formulae in physics)available for communicating most science educationissues (such as descriptions and interpretations of argumentation, discourse, and verbal reports), quitesubstantial pro¯ciency in English is needed. This istrue in particular for writing qualitative studies. AsMartin and Siry discuss more fully below, so far inscience education, native English speaking colleaguespredominate in globally oriented science educationorganizations and in the leading science education journals.Based on sociological (e.g. Ref. 7) and educationalpolicy positions (e.g. Ref. 5) in recent science edu-cation literature on globalization (e.g. Refs. 15and 23), it is argued that neoliberal, neoconservativecapitalist positions predominate in processes of  a See also Ref. 17.2  J. L. Bencze et al.    C   O   S   M   O   S   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   f  r  o  m  w  w  w .  w  o  r   l   d  s  c   i  e  n   t   i   f   i  c .  c  o  m   b  y   S   E   O   U   L   N   A   T   I   O   N   A   L   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   Y  o  n   0   6   /   1   7   /   1   3 .   F  o  r  p  e  r  s  o  n  a   l  u  s  e  o  n   l  y .  economic and cultural globalization (more details aregiven below by Bencze and Carter). It is claimed, forinstance, that student's indigenous knowledge sys-tems are threatened by Western science knowledge.As a result, students may lose some cultural identity(e.g. Refs. 44 and 9). In an analysis of attempts to introduce standards in many countries worldwide,however, DeBoer 19 reveals an impressive richness of di®erent national interpretations of what standardsmay denote and which role they may play (see also:Refs. 21 and 59). A major theme of the present paper is to discussconsequences for teaching science taking cultural andeconomic globalization processes into account. In hiswidely cited position article,  Time for action  :  Science education for an alternative future  , Hodson 25 arguedthat science literacy should explicitly include socio-political action. It comprises not only understandingof global socio-scienti¯c issues (such as causes ande®ectsofclimatechangeorusesofnuclearpower)butalsowillingnessandabilitytoengageinsocio-politicalaction. Since the early 1990s in science education,major attention has been given to the importance of developing individuals' competences about theknowledge and skills of science and technology in thecontext of STS (Science Technology Society; Ref. 55) or socio-scienti¯c issues (SSI). 49 The signi¯cance of this idea is explicitly pointed out by Choi  et al. 18 andBencze and Carter. 9 Understanding socio-scienti¯cissues has been given signi¯cance in various approa-chesofscienti¯cliteracy  —  asthemorerecentreviewsby Roberts 46 and Osborne 42 reveal.In the following,  Martin and Siry   address the ¯rstfacet mentioned in the abstract above. They provideresults of their analytical and empirical research onthe predominance of science educators stemmingfromcountries in whichEnglish is the mother tongueor the major working language. Through analyses of a substantial number of case studies, they show, forinstance, how di±cult it is for colleagues in thesecountries to get a voice within the global scienceeducation research community. As a result, powerfulviews of teaching and learning science may be miss-ing in the global science education community.Two contributions follow on rethinking the cur-rently dominant variants of science instruction fromthe perspectives of economical and cultural globali-zation.  Bencze and Carter   draw on the aboveoutlined critique on neoliberal, neoconservativecapitalist positions apparently playing a signi¯cantrole in present practices of cultural and economicglobalization. The course they developed on thegrounds of  their view re°ects socio-scienti¯capproaches 62  —   however is more radical (in thesense of promoting challenges to decision-makers).Choi, Lee, Kim, Shin and Krajcik provide an over-view of a project on developing and evaluating aframework for scienti¯c literacy taking particularaccount of the challenges resulting from cultural andeconomical globalization. 2. The Role of Social Networks in ScienceEducationResearch:AGlobalContext (Sonya Martin and Christina Siry) b As researchers with science education facultypositions at universities outside of our native home,the United States, we have opportunities to interactand collaborate with researchers from various com-munities around the world. These experiences, alongwith our research foci on culture and language inscience classrooms, have deeply in°uenced ourinterests about the impact of globalization on sci-ence education. Drawing from our experiences, aliterature review we completed regarding the pre-dominance of English language in academia, 35 andvarious conversations with colleagues, we prepared aposition paper about what it means to be engaged inscience education research in a global context andwhat it means to be part of a global science edu-cation community. Speci¯cally we employed BrajKachru's 28 model of World Englishes and culturalsociology as theoretical and analytical tools forexamining the salience of English language dom-inance as an issue with regards to publishing in the¯eld of science education. Building on an analysis of recent authorship in top-tier science journals andour interpretations of narrative re°ections o®ered by11 international science education researchers, weidenti¯ed some existing structures that pose con-siderable barriers for equitable participation by non-native English speaking scholars.In the following we brie°y share some of the¯ndings generated from our consideration of thistopic (and elaborated in Ref. 35). We also raise somequestions that we hope will generate discussions inthe global community with regards to the responsi-bility of individuals within a network (like a global b See also Ref. 35. Globalization and Science Education   3    C   O   S   M   O   S   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   f  r  o  m  w  w  w .  w  o  r   l   d  s  c   i  e  n   t   i   f   i  c .  c  o  m   b  y   S   E   O   U   L   N   A   T   I   O   N   A   L   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   Y  o  n   0   6   /   1   7   /   1   3 .   F  o  r  p  e  r  s  o  n  a   l  u  s  e  o  n   l  y .  science education research community) to otherindividuals and groups within this community.Speci¯cally, we o®er an abbreviated account of ourwork, with a focus on highlighting some key issuesfacing researchers in science education. However, weencourage readers to review the published paper inits entirety for a more complete understanding of thetheoretical underpinnings and methodological fra-meworks employed in our research and for moreconcrete examples of the types of practices wesuggest institutions and organizations (includinguniversities, professional organizations and journals)implement to expand opportunities for more equi-table contributions to the production of knowledgein the ¯eld of science education by more members of the global science education community.Employing cultural sociology 50 as a frameworkfor thinking about science education research as aculture that can be enacted as a set of practices andassociated schema, o®ered us a lens for consideringcultural enactment within the ¯eld of science edu-cation as a point of analysis. As such, we canidentify practices that people engage in as scienceeducation researchers  —   such as conductingresearch, teaching courses, and disseminating ¯nd-ings via publications or conference attendance. Wewere particularly interested in the dissemination of ¯ndings via publications or conference attendance asa form of knowledge production. The practicesassociated with knowledge production and dis-semination became a central focus for our research.We began to investigate how the cultural enactmentof science education research would look in di®erentdisciplines, organizations, countries, etc., and webegan to question what happens when peopleattempt to disseminate their research, conducted inlocal contexts, at international conferences, i.e. in amore global context. Our experiences and researchsuggested that being able to successfully disseminateresearch, by enacting practices associated withpaper presentations, symposiums, and poster ses-sions, is less of a challenge for some people thanothers. We reasoned that this was because somescholars are situated within local contexts that sharethe same understandings about what it means toappropriately enact practices that are valued in theglobal context. Researchers who are not members of these local contexts may not have the same skills orknowledge necessary to e®ectively communicatetheir ideas in these contexts. These skills andknowledge can be thought about in terms of capital.Jan Nespor's 40 notion of \networks of practice"provides us a means for thinking about how indi-viduals engage in knowledge production in localcontexts and then to consider how this knowledge isdisseminated into the wider community  —   whichcan be thought of as consisting of nested commu-nities which constitute a global community. Whogets to participate in these nested communities is of particular interest to us as we approach the ques-tions mentioned above. From our perspective, par-ticipation in social life in any community isdependent on what forms of capital an individualholds and if that capital is valued in that particularcontext. By viewing English language pro¯ciency asa form of social, cultural, economic, and symboliccapital in the production and dissemination of knowledge, we sought to examine the role of theEnglish language within networks of practice in thescience education research community. To criticallyexamine the ways in which capital, in the form of English language pro¯ciency, impacted the dis-semination of research from local contexts into theglobal science education research community weemployed Braj Kachru's 28 model of World Englishes(Fig. 1), as a tool for considering how institutionsand individuals may be di®erently positioned toparticipate in a global network based on Englishlanguage pro¯ciency. Fig. 1. Kachrou's Concentric Circle Model representing thespread of World Englishes. 28 4  J. L. Bencze et al.    C   O   S   M   O   S   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   f  r  o  m  w  w  w .  w  o  r   l   d  s  c   i  e  n   t   i   f   i  c .  c  o  m   b  y   S   E   O   U   L   N   A   T   I   O   N   A   L   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   Y  o  n   0   6   /   1   7   /   1   3 .   F  o  r  p  e  r  s  o  n  a   l  u  s  e  o  n   l  y .  Kachru's model posits three concentric rings thatrepresent the historical and sociolinguistic spread of English. In this model, the innermost ring representscountries in which English is the native language of most of the population; the second circle is the\outer" ring, referring to countries in which Englishis a post-colonial legacy used by large numbers of non-native speakers as a second; and the third ring isthe outermost ring (or the \expanding" ring) thatrepresents the countries in which English is taughtas a foreign language. For those countries, Englishhas no o±cial role, but is generally used in inter-national trade and commerce.Using Kachru's model, we completed a simpleanalysis of the publication trends for four major journals in the ¯eld of science education over a ¯ve-year period (2006  2010). We analyzed the four mosthighly ranked journals in the ¯eld of science edu-cation in an e®ort to highlight issues facingresearchers in science education communities whoseek to disseminate their ¯ndings in informationchannels that are highly valued in the global scienceeducation community. Our analysis demonstratedthatthetoptworankedjournals, JournalofResearch in Science Teaching   (JRST) and  Science Education  (SE) had the greatest percentage of authors frominstitutions within the Inner Circle (83% and 80%respectively) and had very few authors representinginstitutions from the Outer or Expanding Circles.This was true even though publication reports fromthese journals indicate that international submissionrates are very high. An analysis of the journals Research in Science Education   (RISE) and  Inter-national Journal of Science Education   (IJSE)revealed di®erent distribution rates from the above journals JRST and SE with about only half of theauthors representing institutional a±liations fromcountries in the Inner Circle.We also noted that in the cases where authorsfrom countries representing Outer and ExpandingCircles published papers, the lead authors were oftenrepresentatives of Inner Circle institutions or manyauthors contributed to the paper rather than beingsingle authored like many of the publications fromthe Inner Circle countries. For example, a singlespecial issue of the  International Journal of Science Education   (volume 29, issue 4) dedicated to Taiwa-nese science education yielded 34 authors (14 for onepaper)  —   increasing the overall author represen-tation of Expanding Circle scholars in our analysis of IJSE. In addition, only a small percentage of countries represented by publications in all four of these journals account for many of the publicationsattributed to institutions in Outer and Expandingcountries (including countries such as Taiwan andIsrael). So we caution that the publication trends forRISE and IJSE, while much higher than JRST andSE, are not meant to suggest that institutions fromcountries in Outer and Expanding circles are widelyrepresented. In fact many countries in the Outer andExpanding circles are not represented in any of these journals at all.While we were somewhat surprised by the dis-parities in representation by authors in these di®er-ent circles, we used this journal analysis as a startingpoint for more critical examination of language ascapital in networks of practice in the science edu-cation community. We recognized that there aremany reasons why these di®erent trends are present,including di®erences in socio/historical/political/economic contexts for each journal with regards tosrcins, review practices, membership of readers, etc.However, because current trends in globalization areforcingacademicsaroundtheglobetopublishin\toptier" or \ranked" journals, we felt it would beimportant to ask more questions within the widerscience education community aimed at identifyingthe challenges facing scholars in all three circles withregards to access and equality in publishing and dis-seminating e®orts.To widen the circle of analysis, we invited 11 col-leagues to respond to some prompts we developedfocused on examining structural supports and bar-riers to participation in a global science educationcommunity. From this phase of the research, weidenti¯ed several challenges faced by science edu-cation researchers, which we expand upon in moredetailintheoriginalstudy. 35 Inthepresentpaper,weshare one of the challenges most often noted by ourcolleagues, namely that language serves as a barriernot only for non-native English speakers who areasked towriteorpresentinEnglish, but thatitisalsodi±cult for these scholars to access and understandmuch of the research being published in English-only journals and conferences. For scholars publishingtheir research in native language journals other thanEnglish, their research is not accessible to a wideraudience.However,theyalsoexpressedconcernsthatwhen their research is published in English speaking journals, their work may not be easily accessed andutilized by researchers and practitioners in their localcontexts who do not speak English. Globalization and Science Education   5    C   O   S   M   O   S   D  o  w  n   l  o  a   d  e   d   f  r  o  m  w  w  w .  w  o  r   l   d  s  c   i  e  n   t   i   f   i  c .  c  o  m   b  y   S   E   O   U   L   N   A   T   I   O   N   A   L   U   N   I   V   E   R   S   I   T   Y  o  n   0   6   /   1   7   /   1   3 .   F  o  r  p  e  r  s  o  n  a   l  u  s  e  o  n   l  y .
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